LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles-area businesses hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply beginning today to participate in a new $100 million round of federal relief funding.
The Los Angeles Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund has already awarded $3.2 million in grants to more than 300 enterprises. The new money -- $60 million granted to Los Angeles County and $40 million to the city of Los Angeles under the federal coronavirus relief bill -- is expected to aid thousands of small businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations, with awards ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.
“COVID-19 has dealt a devastating blow to countless mom-and-pop shops, local restaurants, microentrepreneurs and nonprofits -- and we bear a clear responsibility to help them navigate through the worst of this crisis,'' Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “The L.A. Regional COVID Recovery Fund is a tribute to the power of our partnership, between the city and county, to deliver financial relief, vital aid, and the tools for recovery to the small businesses and workers who form the backbone of our economy.''
Businesses can apply for the next round of relief funding online at LACOVIDFund.org and need only apply once to be eligible for future rounds. Nonprofits will also be eligible for grants up to $75,000 in a later round.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated communities across Los Angeles County with significant health and economic impacts,'' Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “The L.A. Regional Recovery Fund is one of many efforts led by the county to help our residents and businesses get through these challenging times and emerge stronger than before.''
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez said assistance for low-income business owners would be prioritized and encouraged all eligible business owners to apply for this fourth round of relief.
“The city and county of Los Angeles are dedicating tens of millions of dollars in grant funds, which, in part, will prioritize assistance for underserved businesses and nonprofits, such as low-income Black, Latino, women and micro-entrepreneur business owners,'' Martinez said. “These are small business owners who did not get a fair shot at the federal government's stimulus PPP funds, but need immediate assistance to keep their operations open. Each owner's narrative is the story of L.A. and an American Dream unlike any other.''
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl praised small business owners' efforts to keep going against long odds.
“Our local businesses and nonprofits have struggled to adapt to the pandemic, doing their best to keep their employees on the payroll and find creative ways to stay in business despite tremendous obstacles,'' Kuehl said. “I am glad that L.A. County is now able to offer dramatically more money to our businesses to help them weather this storm.''
Grants will be distributed through an online system that weighs various factors to ensure equitable access. The process will be administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a national community development partner who will work with other community organizations to reach businesses who may not have had access to earlier federal funding.
The head of the county's Department of Consumer and Business Affairs highlighted the cooperation between city and county officials.
“The $100 million Recovery Fund represents an unprecedented partnership between L.A. County and L.A. City agencies to support the area's pandemic-ravaged small business and nonprofit community in an inclusive and equitable way,'' said DCBA Director Joseph Nicchitta. “No matter where a small business or nonprofit is headquartered within the county, they are encouraged to apply for a grant through the Recovery Fund.''
More information on assistance is available by calling the L.A. County Disaster Help Center, a one-stop for local emergency resources, at 833-238-4450 or at lacountyhelpcenter.org.
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